Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And Short Films for all...

The last few weeks have been hectic to say the least. I had to take care of some ads that were prior commitments from November. I had to run to at least 20 meetings with some old and new clients in order to finalize the work orders for keeping Feb and March busy. Then there was the process of realizing that I had to stop working with someone I'd worked with for a long time. I think I realized it when another friend told me the real scenario, that this person not caring enough, suffering from indecisions and just doing whatever they wanted just made my company look bad and when high profile clients are involved, that's not a good thing. Finally, there was the starting of the JERICO Initiative, my own little project where I'm going to hire 6 kids to come and get apprenticeships and a film education and get paid for it.

Amidst this craziness, Bengal Creative Media (BCM) hired me as a DP to shoot a short film called "Stain". The movie was about corruption around the city, believe me there is a lot, targeting the drivers licensing bureau. The director turned out to be a fellow Los Angelino Emily Manthei. BCM is a company that has one of those special places close to my heart (aww.....) cause unlike most other production companies, these guys are doing great things with a shoe string budget and with a zero tolerance policy. I took a pay cut myself as well to help em out.

Stain was shot on the 7D again, which makes me sad for my CineAlta, which hasn't been used much since the Frayed Kit arrived. We shot on some of the tightest spaces I'd ever been in, which ended up being the licensing bureau. 5 actors crammed into a room not any bigger than half the size of a normal bedroom. I didn't get the luxury of a focus puller or my regular gaffer/grip. Emily also wanted a lot of handheld POV shots throughout the movie, as well as a lot of Fincher style motion. After the 3rd day, when she did find out that focus was an issue and perhaps too much for an MK to handle, I was given my regular focus puller, who ended up dropping my 100mm Zeiss on the ground.....twice. He became the 2nd person that I had to sever ties with that week.

The shoot ended up being good for the most part. Emily and I really didn't like the main actor though. She was amazed how people don't do screen tests here and just go on "recommendations". The side actors were far better. I guess I did a decent job too, since she asked me to DP her demo short film for her feature film Transnationals, a movie about adopted children the world over. She shot the first 2 parts stateside, but they were set in South Korea and Japan. The third part was here in Dhaka, where a young girl comes back to visit her orphanage, where she was adopted from before her new parents took her back to the US. Shooting began in Banani, DOHS, by a small school near a field. My friend Abe decided to come and help me as an AC, making him the first honorary JERICO. It was the day after the Giants Superbowl win and since both of are Giants fans, the morning started off a lil slow. Halfway thought the shoot, the local "authorities" decided to stop the shoot since the army did not like the idea of a white person shooting anything there. This is so like peeps over at that side of town....bitches. Anyway, I ended up scouting a slum near BCM's building where we finished the shoot. The slum actually ended up being a better more realistic place. Unlike Stain, the girl who acted in this short ( British expat) was really good and her facial expressions were actually dead on.

Here's the stuff...

Well now its time to go finish some TVCs, hire some JERICOs and start my pro bono for this year. I'll keep y'all posted.

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